Friday, December 02, 2005

Historical Mud

You think today's partisan politics are harmful to American society? You think today's election ads are too negative and full of charlatans slinging mud? You think today's politicians are too quick to go for the low-blow? Well, check your history books, folks...

Larry over at This Is What We Do Now found this excellent link to a list of presidential campaign slogans, and some of these are classic.

I especially enjoy Herbie Hoover's 1928 slogan "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" in light of the fact that everyone in the country became drastically and dangerously poorer during his presidency. But here's my favorite:

1884 Presidential Campaign Slogans
Grover Cleveland went with "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine," which refers to Blaine’s involvement in unethical business deals with the railroad industry and his behavior after they were exposed.

James Blaine then countered with "Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa, Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha," referring to the out-of-wedlock child Cleveland allegedly had fathered.

Damn, that's serious serious shit right there. Perhaps my favorite part of the latter one, though, is the fact that they used "Ha Ha Ha" to rhyme with "Pa." Clever girl.

You can read the rest of them here, including Jimmy Carter's 1976 "Not just peanuts" slogan. Wait, this guy got elected with that? That's fucking awesome. I've gained a new respect for Jimmy Carter today.

Unfortunately, that list doesn't have info on the 1900 election where incumbent President William McKinley used the slogan "William Jennings Bryan Looks Like a Gagortion, He Gave His Underage Mistress a Coat-Hanger Abortion." Even I admit that's over the line.


At 2:00 PM, Blogger ethan said...

you gotta love "cox and cocktails" by harding in 1920. no wonder that decade was so roaring.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

And Lincoln's "Vote Yourself a Farm..."

I mean, you could just vote youself a farm back then? Great concept. If I were his opponent, I'd nickname myself "A Farm," ensuring everyone thought Lincoln endorsed me.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger MDS said...

Actually, I think Lincoln's opponent just retorted, "Vote Yourself a Farm...With Free Slave Labor!"

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous The Heretik said...

It is not true that JFK's 1960 slogan was "Dick Nixon Before He Dicks You."
Though it could be. Now every time some Dick shoots off a comment in poor judgment, people say "Dick So and So Before He Dicks You." Nixon, Dick never got credit for things Kennedy didn't do.

At 3:47 PM, Blogger jakezebra said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger jakezebra said...

Hugh L. White, a Whig candidate lowered the bar with his slogan attacking Van Buren in 1840 which was - "Hannah Van Buren has a cock."
This was the first instance of an attack upon the candidate's wife.


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